Patents Assigned to McDonnell Douglas Corporation
  • Patent number: 6298765
    Abstract: A hypervelocity impact shield assembly for protecting a spacecraft surface from hypervelocity impactors. The shield assembly includes at least one sacrificial impactor disrupting/shocking layer of hypervelocity impactor disrupting/shocking material. A primary spacing element, including space-rated open cell foam material, is positioned between the at least one sacrificial impactor disrupting/shocking layer and a spacecraft surface. A cover member is arranged and disposed relative to the sacrificial impactor disrupting/shocking layer and the primary spacing element to maintain the integrity of the hypervelocity impact shield assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventor: Bruce D. Dvorak
  • Patent number: 6296426
    Abstract: A tool fixture 10 includes a body 12 and a plurality of attachment devices 14 connected to the body 12. A passageway 22 is connected to the body 12 and in communication with at least two of the attachment devices 14. A connector is in communication with the passageway 22 and the body 12 and is for attachment to a vacuum system such that when the vacuum system draws a vacuum the attachment devices 14 are urged against a work surface to hold the tool fixture 10 in place.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventors: Daniel C. King, Thomas O. Blankenship
  • Patent number: 6285183
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method for the direct measurement and quantification of the material volume loss on the surface of a substrate and thus provides an accurate depiction of the surface profile of the surface. The method of the invention comprises inducing eddy currents in a test substrate, measuring the magnitude of the eddy current produced within the substrate at a plurality of locations on the surface of the substrate, and converting the measured eddy current magnitudes at the locations to corresponding volume losses on the test surface using the eddy current magnitude measurements of a reference substrate having defects of predetermined volume loss. Typically, the measurements of the eddy current magnitude on the test surface are converted to actual volume losses by multiplying the measured eddy current magnitude for a sector of the test substrate by the area of the sector and a calibration factor (Cf) representing the volume per unit area eddy current magnitude.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventors: Michael R. Collingwood, Steven G. Keener
  • Patent number: 6280100
    Abstract: A fiber optic connector and an associated fabrication method where the connector has a connector housing having a base side, a and pair of sidewalls upstanding from the base side that are spaced apart in relation to each other, and each of the housing sidewalls define at least one aperture through which optical signals can be transmitted into and out of the housing by an input optical fiber and an output optical fiber, respectively, located in fixed positions outside the housing, a pair of optical lens elements are contained within the housing which collimate optical signals transmitted via the respective optical fibers, and a micro-alignable sensing fiber is arranged between the lens elements. The sensing fiber is precisely aligned with respective lens elements within submicron tolerances using internally-housed micro-aligners. As a result, the fiber optic connector of the present invention can provide efficient coupling between optical fibers, such as optical fibers in two spliced composite parts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventor: John M. Haake
  • Patent number: 6277463
    Abstract: A composite member having increased resistance to delamination includes a reinforcing wrap of fiber-matrix composite material which is encircled about the member so that the edge surfaces of the member are covered by the wrap. The wrap includes fibers which are oriented from about −60° to about +60° relative to the direction along which the reinforcing wrap is wrapped about the member. The fibers of the reinforcing wrap impart increased third-axis or Z-direction strength at the edges of the member where interlaminar tensile stresses are greatest.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventors: Brian Koorosh Hamilton, Stephen L. Guymon
  • Patent number: 6269319
    Abstract: An integration test station for aircraft is provided in which the system is operable with multiple aircraft configurations. The integration test station permits aircraft component designs to be tested and verified in a simulated environment representing integration of the component into the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2001
    Assignee: The McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventors: Jonathan C. Neisch, Donald E. Turner
  • Patent number: 6266427
    Abstract: A damped structural panel includes a panel having bending modes including demanding bending modes. The demanding bending modes have subsonic bending waves along at least one axis, and require damping treatment based on sound radiation properties of the panel. A viscoelastic material is applied within a limited area adjacent to the panel edges based on the demanding bending modes. The viscoelastic material damps sound radiation caused by bending waves during use of the structural panel, such as use as a body panel on an aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventor: Gopal P. Mathur
  • Patent number: 6264141
    Abstract: A frangible aircraft floor includes a floor support having at least one opening formed therethrough. A thin film is positioned with respect to the opening and is provided with a frangible seam which ruptures when a predetermined pressure difference exists on opposing sides of the film to allow increased airflow through the opening to equalize pressure between the compartments in the event of a sudden loss in pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventors: Hyo S. Shim, Steve A. Wiles
  • Patent number: 6252541
    Abstract: Novel test mounts are defined for a radar cross section testing apparatus that allows a supported object to be tested without interference from the test mount. This includes prescribing a diameter of about 0.61 wavelegths for a cylindrical test mount; maintaining a ratio for the test mount's characteristic dielectric constant and magnetic permeability of about one; and/or installing a frequency transposing apparatus to convert the frequency of radar pulses directed toward the test mount to off-frequency echoes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventor: Jesse Clopton James
  • Patent number: 6253011
    Abstract: A micro-aligner for precisely aligning an optical fiber with an optical device, and methods of making and using same. The micro-aligner includes a carrier having a surface plane and holds an optical fiber to be positioned in alignment with an optical device. Spring biased first and second microactuators are provided on the carrier for effecting in-plane movement and alignment of the optical fiber with an optical device in either or both of two orthogonal in-plane directions when either or both of said in-plane microactuators is activated. Backstops are located on the carrier in respective association with each of the first and second microactuators, respectively, such that the first and second backstops delimit the amount of return in-plane movement of the respective beam after either of the respective first or second microactuator is de-activated. A third microactuator also is provided on the carrier which, when activated, effectively deflects the carrier upward in a direction away from the base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventor: John M. Haake
  • Patent number: 6247118
    Abstract: Systems and methods for transient error recovery in pipelined reduced instruction set computer (RISC) processors prevent state changes based on the execution of an instruction until the execution of the instruction is validated. If a transient fault occurs causing an error to appear in an instruction execution, the instruction is retrieved using an instruction fetch address associated with that instruction and is stored in a pipeline history cache. The RISC processor pipeline is then restarted with that instruction. The validation of the execution of an instruction may take place in the execution stage, though processors with high clock frequencies may include a separate validate stage in the pipeline so that there is adequate time to validate the execution of the instruction without having to decrease the clock frequency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2001
    Assignees: McDonnell Douglas Corporation, TRW, Inc.
    Inventors: John F. Zumkehr, Amir A. Abouelnaga
  • Patent number: 6246045
    Abstract: A reflected radiance sensor is held in a spaced-apart relationship with a surface so the field of view of the sensor intersects the surface so that the radiation reflected off the surface can be detected and measured. The sensor is configured to detect only reflected radiation so that the reflected radiation is accurately measured without any direct incident component. A support structure is utilized to hold the detector of the sensor in place. The support structure is preferably made of material that is substantially invisible (i.e., transparent) to the radiation wavelength band of interest. The design of a support structure in accordance with the present invention is not limited to any one design, but may be designed for optimum performance in a particular application.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventors: Henry B. Morris, Arvi D. Jeffery
  • Patent number: 6244817
    Abstract: A fan system, such as a turbofan, marine propeller, or a cooling fan, includes a fan noise control system for reducing noise generated by the fan system. The noise control system may be configured to reduce either broadband noise, blade-passage noise, or both. In particular, the fan noise control system suitably includes a pre-swirl generator configured to provide a layer of fluid upstream from the fan blades. The layer swirls in the direction of the fan's rotation, reducing the angular velocity differential between the fan blades and the incident fluid. In addition, the fan noise control system may also include a fluid seal generator configured to create a fluid barrier between the fan blade tips and the interior surface of the fluid flow channel. The fluid seal inhibits leakage flow between the fan blade tips and the interior surface as well as the formation of blade vortices. By minimizing the blade wake and the blade tip vortices without adding solid surfaces, noise tends to diminish.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventor: Hieu Thien Ngo
  • Patent number: 6231006
    Abstract: A mission adaptive inlet (42) for an aircraft (40) has a rigid lip panel (56) pivotally attached to an inlet (42) of the aircraft (40). An actuation mechanism is coupled to the rigid lip panel (56) and causes the rigid lip panel (56) to pivot from a first position to a second position. A reinforced elastomer system (48) is connected the rigid lip panel and the inlet (42).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventors: Cynthia Ann Gruensfelder, Robert Henry Wille
  • Patent number: 6229940
    Abstract: An incoherent fiber optic laser system is provided which provides a high quality output beam which is readily scalable and which can be focused to a target location located relatively near or relatively far without requiring sophisticated optical elements. The incoherent fiber optic laser system includes a plurality of single mode laser sources, such as a plurality of fiber optic amplifiers, for providing single mode laser signals. The laser sources, such as the fiber optic amplifiers, operate incoherently with respect to one another such that the resulting laser signals are also incoherent. The incoherent fiber optic laser system also generally includes a plurality of single mode optical fibers for routing the incoherent laser signals as desired. In addition, the incoherent fiber optic laser system can include a plurality of lenses for collimating the incoherent laser signals provided by respective ones of the single mode optical fibers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventors: Robert Rex Rice, Mark Steven Zediker, Jack Herbert Hollister
  • Patent number: 6225939
    Abstract: A thin sheet impedance device and process for controlling the resistance, capacitance and inductive properties of a material through the use of a plurality of impedance elements of specific sizes, shapes and material on one side of a thin dielectric sheet in combination with a plurality of similar impedance elements and/or a layer of resistive material on the opposite side of the dielectric sheet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventor: Arthur C. Lind
  • Patent number: 6225963
    Abstract: A broadband spiral antenna wherein the outermost spirals for lower frequency operation are formed in the shape of a four lobed cloverleaf so that the low frequency operation can be provided in a relatively limited space leaving room for four other spiral antennas between the lobes so that two orthogonal arrays of three antennas each with the center cloverleaf antenna being common to both arrays can be used to determine the directional characteristics of a radiating source being detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 1981
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventor: Frederick W. Vortmeier
  • Patent number: 6221177
    Abstract: An aluminum-alloy article such as a fastener is prepared by providing an aluminum-alloy article precursor that is not in its final heat-treated state, and in one form is in its solution treated/annealed state. A curable organic coating material is also provided. The method includes anodizing the article precursor, preferably in chromic acid solution and without chemical sealing during anodizing, applying the organic coating material to the aluminum-alloy article precursor, and precipitation heat-treating the coated aluminum article precursor to its final heat-treated state, thereby simultaneously curing the organic coating. If the aluminum alloy temper is of the naturally aging type, it is optionally lightly deformed prior to precipitation treatment aging.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventor: Steven G. Keener
  • Patent number: 6218980
    Abstract: A terrain correlation system for use in conjunction with an inertial navigation system of a vehicle is provided which can update position information and which is both independent of altitude and compatible with varying course paths. In the preferred embodiment, reference terrain altitude maps are converted to reference map transformation values. The reference map transformation values are used in conjunction with a terrain correlation process to establish vehicle position. The system also is able to select reference map scenes to the left, right, front or rear of present vehicle position so that curved travel paths can be updated in a manner similar to more conventional straight line vehicle paths.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 1987
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventors: Robert H. Goebel, Dale A. Fogle, David C. Torretta, Philip Panagos, Patrick A. Heffern
  • Patent number: 6213712
    Abstract: An improved blade positioning mechanism for folding a helicopter blade attached to a pitch control housing permits a controlled folding of the main rotor blade for increased safety and decreased risk of damage to the helicopter or other equipment. The invention also folds the main rotor blade while the blade remains attached to the pitch control housing, thus eliminating the need to rebalance the blade. In an embodiment of the invention blade positioning mechanism comprises a pitch control housing connection, a rotor blade clamp, and a clamp positioner. The pitch control housing connection is adapted to temporarily attach to the pitch control housing of the helicopter and pivot with two degrees of freedom relative to the pitch control housing. The rotor blade clamp is adapted to temporarily attach to the rotor blade of the helicopter. The clamp positioner is attached to the rotor blade clamp and the pitch control housing connection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2001
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventor: Neal W. Muylaert